State Library of South Australia

The State Library had its beginnings in a library brought out to Adelaide from London in 1836 as the collection of the South Australian Literary Society. The library became part of the South Australian Institute in 1856, when it was combined with the Adelaide Mechanics' Institute library. This library gained official status in 1878 and in 1884 became part of the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide. The Public Library of South Australia became a state government department in 1939.

A part of the library's function is as the custodian of the non-goverment archives and as such the library holds extensive records of use to family historians as part of the Mortlock Library of South Australiana. This material includes very useful church registers. The newspaper collection hold copies of all newspapers published in South Australia and numerous titles from beyond the state including the London Times. The family history section continues to expand and apart from finding aids and material on SA records, it holds UK BDM Indexes and BDM Indexes for the other Australian states.

The State Library maintains an excellent online catalogue which can assist researchers in determining their search need before they attend the library. There is no access charge for public use of the State Library.

slsa Items of special interest to family historians include:

  • Business records
  • Church records: Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Hebrew, Methodist, Presbyterian, Uniting
  • Directories and almanacs
  • Electoral rolls
  • Newspapers
  • Personal papers
  • Photographs
  • Pre-civil baptisms, burials and marriages
  • Shipping records and passengers' diaries

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